Proof the Hammers haven’t always been turkey at Xmas!

Boxing Day has provided Irons fans with quite a few happy memories

It’s one of the final traditions the British game still holds in high esteem as fuzzy-headed fans up and down the land travel far and wide to watch their team on Boxing Day whilst the rest of the country tucks into left over turkey.

Traditionally fans would be looking forward to a mouth-watering local derby as the FA looked to make it as easy as possible for clubs and supporters alike to travel to the game. In my 24 years of existence, Boxing Day has brought few happy memories with just seven wins in all that time, so it somewhat limits my favourite moments to a handful.

Traditionally fans would be looking forward to a mouth-watering local derby as the FA looked to make it as easy as possible for clubs and supporters alike to travel to the game. In my 24 years of existence, Boxing Day has brought few happy memories with just seven wins in all that time, so it somewhat limits my favourite moments to a handful.

Over history though there have been some magic moments including a classic 4-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the mid-seventies that saw the great Clyde Best bag a brace. Th ere was even a thrilling 4-4 draw in the mid-1940’s between the Hammers and Charlton as a hat-trick from Len Goulden helped the Irons to an entertaining draw.

West Ham 5-0 Charlton Athletic (2000)

My personal festive memories begin in 2000 against the same opponents as that wonderful 4-4 draw in the 1940s, Charlton Athletic. Our lads must have caught the Addicks still full of turkey and Port as we thumped them 5-0 with an incredible overhead kick from Trevor Sinclair putting the icing on the Christmas cake to help seal an impressive win for Harry Redknapp’s men. Goals from a young Frank Lampard, a brace from Freddie Kanoute and an own goal from Richard Rufus completed the scoring as we romped home to our biggest win of the season and we went onto finish in 15th place.

West Ham 3-2 Nottingham Forest (2004)

As I grew older playing with the toys and gadgets I had received the previous day became less and less important come kick off on Boxing Day as I searched for a way to watch or listen to my beloved Hammers. It was no different in 2004 as we faced Nottingham Forest in the Championship. Some 32,270 packed into Upton Park and they were treated to a Christmas cracker as yet again five goals helped soothe those fuzzy-headed fans.

Forest were at the foot of the Championship table at the time and the opening goal rather summed up their season as fan favourite Matty Etherington chased down a back pass and managed to block Paul Gerrard’s kick and deflect it into the bottom corner as the former Tottenham man quite literally scored with his backside. Teddy Sheringham doubled our advantage before a quick-fire brace from David Johnson brought the visitors level. But we stole the win late on as Sheringham bagged his second to seal a crucial win.

Portsmouth 1-4 West Ham (2008)

This has been my favourite ever festive memory. Having moved to Hampshire in 2002, I had been surrounded by mouthy Portsmouth fans. In fact, two of my closest friends were adamant that the south coast club have a far bigger history and are therefore a bigger club.

I humour them now as they lie in the play-off places in League Two. After a few years of Pompey dominating our games, finally this fixture put an end to all the jibes and mickey taking as we hammered the Blues in their own backyard. It didn’t start well as Nadir Belhadj opened the scoring for the hosts, which sparked waves of mocking texts.

Thankfully though we were only lulling them into a false sense of security as Jack Collison brought us level before we ran riot in the second half with Carlton Cole giving us the lead. Craig Bellamy added gloss to the scoreline with a late brace to give us a comfortable 4-1 win at Fratton Park, and suddenly my phone went quiet apart from the one or two Hammers fans I know in the area.

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